Border skirmishes: Sharad Pawar warns K’taka CM of repercussions

As stray incidents of violence were reported in some areas along the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar said that “an atmosphere of fear” has been created in the boundary villages owing to the statements of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, here on Tuesday.

Blaming Bommai while referring to the attacks on vehicles in the border areas, Pawar called for an urgent and amicable solution to the issue by the chief ministers of both the states.

The NCP supremo flayed Bommai’s statements staking claim to more villages from Maharashtra, and continuously talking on the ticklish issue which has flared up sentiments in the boundary districts.

As per reports, stones were pelted at some trucks and private vehicles coming to Maharashtra near a toll-post in Belgaum allegedly by some activists of Kannada Rakshana Vedike, which evoked protests in this state.

In retaliation, supporters of Shiv Sena (UBT) smeared black and saffron paint on buses from Karnataka and a group of activists said they would go to the border areas soon to express solidarity with the Marathi-speaking population there.

Giving an ultimatum to Bommai, Pawar said if the disturbed situation is not brought under control within 48 hours, then he would be compelled to visit the affected areas.

“Maharashtra has maintained restraint for so long, but people will not keep quiet… if these attacks don’t halt within 48 hours, we will have to take a different stand. Then the Karnataka CM will be responsible for the consequences,” Pawar said.

The senior politician urged both Bommai and Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde to sit and hammer out the issue with proper coordination to prevent the situation from escalating.

Condemning the violence in Belgaum on Tuesday, Pawar urged the Maharashtra MPs — who are planning to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah — to convey that if anybody attempts to take the law in their hands, then the Centre shall be blamed.

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